By Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Kabataang Makabayan
November 30, 1964
Since its founding on November 30, 1964, the Kabataang Makabayan has brilliantly performed its role as the prime comprehensive youth organization. It has aroused, organized and mobilized students and out-of-school youth, young workers, urban poor, peasants, fishermen and professionals in the people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
We the founders deliberately chose the birth date of Andres Bonifacio as founding day in order to honor his leadership in the old democratic revolution of 1896 against Spanish colonialism and underscore our resolve for KM to reinvigorate the revolutionary patriotic tradition of the Filipino people and to continue the unfinished tasks of the Philippine revolution.
We recognized that under the conditions of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution we needed to wage a new democratic revolution, led by the working class, supported by the broad masses of the people and aimed at achieving socialism under conditions of complete national independence and democracy. Thus, the KM assumed the role of serving as the training school for young revolutionaries and of assisting the working class in fulfilling its revolutionary tasks.
Since then, it has recruited, trained and tested cadres and activists and mobilized large numbers of young men and women for various types of youth organizations, for the trade union movement, for the peasant movement, for various professional organizations, for taking up sectoral and multisectoral issues and carrying out various kinds of work. It has excelled both in legal mass struggles and in revolutionary armed struggle.
The KM was the key factor in bringing about the upsurge of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal mass movement in the 1960s. It provided active support to the trade union movement and peasant movement in political education, strikes and mass protests.
It worked for building the Workers’ Party and then the Socialist Party from 1964 to 1968. It pushed the realization of the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism as a broad national united front from 1966 to 1968.
It served as the base of the young proletarian cadres who struggled for the rectification of errors in the old communist party and for the rebuilding of a genuine communist party guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought from 1966 to 1968. It generated the basis for a proletarian revolutionary party that is of a national scale and is deeply rooted among the toiling masses and the youth.
The KM reached the peak of mass mobilizations during the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and the subsequent storms of mass protests until Marcos imposed martial law in September 1972. It expanded nationwide very rapidly because of its effective propaganda work, chapter building and mass actions. It created the network for building the revolutionary party of the proletariat and revolutionary mass movement on a nationwide scale.
It achieved tremendous success in training so many of the youth who eventually qualified to become cadres and members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and Red fighters of the New People’s Army. These youth took their place at the forefront of the revolutionary struggle against the US-instigated fascist dictatorship of Marcos.
The KM has become the Young Communist League. It continues to contribute to the growth in strength and advance of all the revolutionary forces, including the Communist Party, the New People’s Army, the mass organizations, the organs of political power and the various types of alliances. It continues to inspire the Filipino youth to fight for their rights and interests as well as those of the entire Filipino people.
The veterans and current activists of the KM as well as the people in general can celebrate the accumulated victories of the KM in terms of political education, mass organizing and mass mobilization. All such victories can be celebrated in songs, dance, poetry and other forms of cultural activity. But at the same time, the most solemn tribute must be paid to those who suffered martyrdom and made extraordinary sacrifices in 40 years of struggle in the service of the Filipino people.
A long stretch remains of the march to complete the revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. The oppressed and exploited youth and people have no choice but to fight for their rights and interests because the oppressors and exploiters never tire of oppressing and exploiting them.
The KM and the Filipino youth and people in general are more encouraged than ever before to continue the Philippine revolution because since 1964 the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system has become even more rotten and more crisis-stricken and the revolutionary forces have gained more experience, learned their lessons well and continued to grow in strength through struggle.
The internal rottenness and failures of the ruling system coincide with the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. This crisis has grown unprecedentedly graver since the end of World War II. So-called “free market” globalization under monopoly capitalism has unleashed the most rapacious forms of exploitation and is generating global depression, state terrorism and wars of aggression. The people of the world are compelled by the conditions to wage various forms of resistance against all these.
The US is under the illusion that as the sole superpower, with incomparable high tech weaponry and with a supposedly limitless borrowing capacity, it can at will expand its political hegemony and economic territory. But in Iraq Emperor Uncle Sam is rendered naked, very much exposed and vulnerable as an overextended power and as a target of close quarter offensives of the Iraqi people. Thus, the Filipino people and other peoples of the world are inspired to intensify their revolutionary struggles as US imperialism sinks in the quagmire in Iraq.
From my vantage as the recently elected chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, I am glad to see the rising wave of people’s resistance to imperialism and its puppets throughout the world. I am proud to see that the Filipino people are availing of the favorable conditions for revolution and are contributing their share to the struggle of humanity for liberation from the scourge of imperialism.
May the Kabataang Makabayan continue to be a major factor in the advance of the Philippine revolution and be ever conscious of the ever urgent need of the proletariat and people to strengthen their solidarity and struggle for a new and better world against imperialism and its diehard lackeys.
Long live Kabataang Makabayan and the Filipino youth!
Advance the Filipino people’s new democratic revolution!
Contribute to the rise of the world people’s resistance against imperialism and its rabid puppets!###